Tuesday, May 08, 2007


There is quite a bit to be said about the attraction of sci-fi time-warping movies, much of which I will not cover here because most of it has been done before; being done before is the main downfall of the movie "Next" with Nicholas Cage.

Now, granted, there are minor changes to the story in which the future is seen and experienced but the overall plot and flow of the movie is still the same. At 10,000 feet the movies are nearly identical: you see a generally intriguing main character with a special ability or discovered phenomena/technology and he or she uses it to thwart evil and save either the damsel in distress, the world or sometimes both. "Next" is exactly that, a movie where a guy (Nicholas Cage) has a unique ability that helps him twart evil terrorists and save the damsel; it then wraps up in a nice tidy package.

Nicholas Cage (Gone in 60 Seconds, Face Off, The Rock) seems to be in a career lull with his most recent films. He hasn't exercised his screen presence like I wish he would and is focusing on the "gifted hero" style films; this provides a performance that is still entertaining but not outstanding. As the damsel of the movie, Jessica Biel, is as good looking as always. She has a natural beauty and soft character with excellent silver screen appeal. Her character isn't developed in the film but didn't necessarily need to be and in the end you are pleased with her role. While she doesn't get the opportunity to flex her acting talent in this flick it is another on the resume and that doesn't usually hurt.

The other supporting actress is also worth noting here, Julianne Moore, as the relentless and ruthless FBI investigator Callie Ferris. Her character is hardened, goal-oriented and efficient, which suits Julianne well. She gets a fair amount of screen time with Cage but like Biel doesn't receive much in the way of character development. Again, another one for the resume and pocketbook.

The cinematography and direction of the movie was action-flick standard yet gave the time-twisting plot just enough fresh appeal to attract the crowds.

If you enjoy movies that provide time altering theories then this is a good movie to go and see. The beginning of the movie provides the best entertainment of the entire film but you still feel a sense of accomplishment and a little "oh yeah, I got it now" at the end.

- Mitch G

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